Description from Flora of China
Arborescent bamboos, sometimes shrubby. Rhizomes leptomorph, with running underground stems. Culms diffuse, erect to nodding; internodes substantially grooved above branches; wall thick, cavity with granular or spongy pith; nodes prominent. Mid-culm branches 3, subequal or central dominant. Culm sheaths deciduous, leathery or thickly papery, setose; ligule truncate; blade large, triangular or lanceolate, rarely strap-shaped. Leaves usually medium to large-sized, transverse veins distinct. Inflorescence fully bracteate, partially iterauctant, lateral, racemose, sessile, prophyllate. Spikelets many flowered, gradually enlarged; basal bracts and glumes often with basal axillary buds developed into secondary spikelets; basal 1–4 florets sometimes sterile. Glumes usually 2; lemma larger and broader than glumes, many veined; palea obtuse, 2-keeled; lodicules 3, subequal. Stamens 6; filaments free. Ovary narrowly ellipsoid or fusiform; style short; stigmas 3, plumose. Fruit a caryopsis, ovoid to ellipsoid, beaked. New shoots spring–early summer.
Indosasa is the only genus of bamboos in China with six stamens, bracteate inflorescences, and leptomorph rhizomes.
In addition to the species treated below, Indosasa jinpingensis T. P. Yi (J. Bamboo Res. 20(4): 1. 2001) was described from Yunnan (Jinping). In the protologue it was compared with I. parvifolia.
Indosasa hispida (species no. 13) could not be included in the following key because its culm sheaths are unknown.
About 15 species: S China, N Vietnam; 15 species (13 endemic) in China.
(Authors: Zhu Zhengde (朱政德 Chu Cheng-de); Chris Stapleton)